Riding the Cradle of Nomadic Civilization (Naadam)

The Khangai Mountain range in Central Mongolia is drained by some of Mongolia’s mightiest rivers. The Orkhon is the most famous of them. For tens of thousands of years the Orkhon and it’s tributaries gave water and shelter to the nomadic peoples and their animals. Even today their lifestyle has changed little and they still herd their sheep with horses and yaks, in order to protect them against the misfortune of the harsh weather and wolves.

Local horsemen will accompany you and take you to their homeland teaching you about their secrets of survival. Our staff will set up the overnight camps, which will be both adequate and comfortable. There will be good food, prepared by a professional cook, a dining tent to shelter you from the sun and give you warmth at night, comfortable sleeping tents, a shower tent and a toilet tent. Vehicles will accompany the journey as an option for those who do not want to ride the entire distance.

After experiencing the countryside witness the opening ceremony of the Naadam games, the 3 ‘manly’ games: wrestling, archery and horse races. This is a great time to see the past and present as the Mongols perform their traditional songs and dances and wear their traditional clothing.

Day 1  Arrival – sightseeing & shopping in Ulaanbaatar

Arrive and transfer to a 4-star Hotel. Today you will have a full day of sightseeingincluding Gandan Monastery and the Bogd Khan Palace, whichis a series of beautiful traditional buildings in which the last religious King of Mongolia resided. It is now a museum displaying fascinating artefacts and costumes associated with the King as well as his collection of European furniture and stuffed animals. Visit the National History Museum and the Fine Arts Museum. Lunch will be at the hotel and dinner at the Ger Restaurant with traditional music, food and entertainment. 


Day 2 Lake Ugii

We will head west of Ulaanbaatar. The scenery is wide-open steppe with rolling hills in the background. We will stop for lunch along the way. We will stay overnight in tents next to Lake Ugii.

Day 3 Riding, swimming, fishing – Khoshoo Tsaidam – Turkish Empire ruins

Today you will get acquainted with your horse and tack and set out for the first ride. You may also wish to spend some time resting, swimming and fishing. Later, we will continue driving, stopping at Khoshoo Tsaidam, and exploring some ruins from the time of the Turkish Empire. We will stay overnight in the previous night’s camp.

Day 4 Riding – Five Trees

We will ride towards Karakorum, setting up camp at a place called Five Trees close to Karakorum.

Day 5 Karakorum – Orkhon River – 40km

Today we will ride to Karakorum, the ancient capital of Mongolia from where Chinggis Khaan launched his cavalry. There is a small town here now. On arrival the first and most obvious landmark is the vast wall of Erdenezuu Monastery. The monastery was built in 1586 and is surrounded by a massive 400m x 400m wall. Not a single nail was used in the construction of the ornate temples, only a few of which remain standing after the communist purges. In previous times the grounds held over 60 temples with 10,000 monks using them for their daily worship. We will visit the monastery and then ride along the Orkhon River, where we will camp for the night.

Day 6 Nariin

We will continue riding until we reach Nariin, which is on the way to Tovkhon Monastery. We will camp in the valley tonight.

Day 7 Tuvkhun Monastery

Today we will visit Tuvkhun Monastery, which is situated the top of Mount Tuvshin, and where the first religious King of Mongolia the Ondor Gegeen Zanabazar worked and lived. We will continue riding along the river we find a suitable camping spot on the shores for the night.

Day 8 Orkhon Waterfall – Orkhon Valley

Today we will continue to ride to the Orkhon Waterfall. The waterfall is situated in the Orkhon Valley and this valley is known as the cradle of the Mongolian civilization as many of Mongolia’s ancient monuments lie within its borders. We will camp overnight by the waterfall.

Day 9 Orkhon Waterfall

After many days in the saddle you might want to spend a day of leisure by the waterfall. If not, you can ride around this picturesque area. The area surrounding the waterfall is green and forested and you can spend the day walking in the area. This area of Mongolia is well known for producing the best ‘airag,’ or fermented mares’ milk in the country. Many locals love to challenge you to singing games - the loser has to consume a whole bowl of ‘airag,’ so beware when visiting local families!

Day 10 ‘Piece of Sand’ – Mount Khogno Khan

Today we will drive until we reach a place called ‘Piece of Sand.’ It is about a 5-hour drive from the waterfall. This stretch of sand is a long strip that originates in the Gobi and stretches all the way into the central aimags of Mongolia. On arrival we will set up camp in the foothills of the Mount Khogno Khan. This mountain is perfect for some afternoon hiking and there are some remains of an ancient monastery that should be explored.

Day 11 Return to Ulaanbaatar

After breakfast we will make the six hour drive back to Ulaanbaatar mainly along paved roads. On arrival in the capital you will be taken to your hotel. 

Day 12-13 2 days at Naadam in Ulaanbaatar

Today we will spend a full day at the Naadam Festival in Ulaanbaatar. We will see the opening ceremony, and the wrestling and archery competitions. The evening program will be a performance of Mongolian folk song and dance. A guide and vehicle will accompany you at all times. The following day can be watch horse racing just outside the city. in the eveining we will  visit a cultural program.


Day 14     Departure

After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your international departure.

Departure code and date:
NRT-006, 30 June-13 July, 2018

Price per person for a group more than 9 people: USD2.711

Single Supplement: USD290

Prices include the following

Transportation within Mongolia, twin accommodation in a 4 star hotel. Single accommodation can be arranged at an additional cost. Tented accommodation while on trek, three meals a day, English-speaking guide, all sightseeing costs, transfers, camel or horse hire where specified, support staff including drivers, horse/camel men and camp assistants.

Prices do not include

International transportation, travel insurance, visas, departure tax, alcoholic drinks, gratuities, items of a personal nature.

It is the responsibility of the client to be fully covered with travel and medical insurance while traveling in Mongolia.

Please note

Upon request, single supplement in the countryside can be provided at the additional cost. In case single accommodation in ger camps was not provided the amount would be calculated based on the missing nights and reimbursed.

Nomads cannot be held responsible for over bookings, as long as the company can prove with sufficient documentation that overbooking has been the error of the third party.

Should circumstances beyond our control, such as the imposition of quarantine restrictions, any changes of domestic flight or train schedules, require a change of itinerary, we will inform your agent and propose an equivalent itinerary. Again, Nomads cannot take over the responsibility for the Airlines or the National Train Company. The traveler is responsible for having proper travel documents, such as a valid passport, proper visa and the necessary passport pictures.

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